Virgin Galactic Completes First Suborbital Flight For Private Customers

During the time when Russia and India are planning to return to the Moon with their automatic stations, Virgin Galactic made the first true “commercial” edge-of-space flight intended for “space tourists.”
To be more precise, this was the second flight for the Richard Branson company that is completing more than a decade of development and research aimed at evolving space tourism. The first mission was completed successfully in June, but it did not carry commercial passengers on board: only the personnel of the scientific mission VIRTUTE-1 flew into space (including three Italian specialists on board), but now real “space tourists” were able to participate in a suborbital flight on the border with space.
“Virgin Galactic today took another historic step forward by completing the first mission for private astronauts and demonstrating how our space flights will expand access to space,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “Jon, Keisha, and Ana embody our deep belief that space is for everybody, and we are proud that today’s flight has inspired people and nations around the world. This is just the beginning, because we plan to start flying every month,” Colglazier emphasized.

But only a few can afford the ticket price of 450 thousand dollars. The central figure of these missions is the spaceship capable of reaching the upper atmosphere that offers zero-gravity experience. The spacecraft is delivered to an altitude of 15,000 meters attached to a special airplane, then it detaches and flies autonomously up to 80,000 meters, returning to earth after a few minutes and landing like a regular aircraft. The next flight is scheduled for September.